» LATEST FEATURES

LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Ahleuchatistas
On the Culture Industry
Angura Sound

Rating: 7/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Let's get this out of the way right now; this music sounds horrible to my mom. She does NOT like the guitar hastily weaving notes an octave above the similarly dancing and winding fuzzy bass lines. Then figure in the percussive hammerings that seem to punctuate the pulse of the dictating melody- a pulse that is almost never one constant rhythmic path. Yeah she hates that too.

To be honest, there are probably a lot of people who cannot enjoy bands like Ahleuchatistas. I have no problem with this opinion. Yet I do have one correlated grievance. To those who don't listen to music very much, anything non-pop and distorted automatically sounds like one of two things. The first generality is always going to be a comparison to Nirvana, as in, "Listen to those distorted guitar and bass riffs and the heavy pounding drums. This group totally sounds like Nirvana."

The other comparison is more to that of genre. Often people feel the need to categorize, quantify, or place terms and ideas so that they are more mentally accessible. Groups such as Ahleuchatistas are often shafted by being categorized because few know how to accurately identify them. With a burgeoning stock of math rockers, they have an intimate crowd to stick with, but even the others in this company get characterized as "jazzy" post rock, or simply lumped into the noise rock pigpen. I think both evaluations lose something in these efforts towards summation. While Ahleuchatistas uses basic musical elements contained within jazz, noise and math rock, there are other non-textual edges that help to make On the Culture Industry a solid effort.

Sidenote: I looked up the band's name on Google without success and then came to the conclusion that it must be of Spanish derivation. Onward to locating an online Spanish-to-English translator and again I find no meaning for this strange term. Through the help of the band's website (www.ahleuchatistas.com) I find the name is a combination of "Ah-Leu-Cha," the title of an exceptional Charlie Parker jazz composition, and "Zapatistas," social revolutionaries present in Mexico during the 1990s.

On the surface the trio is indebted to the influence of 1970s/80s prog rockers such as King Crimson and Yes and to recent deceased independent rock groups such as Don Caballero and Re:Rec. Regardless, this band plays some damn fine instrumental rock that is permeated with inspiration, grit and true direction. On the whole I got a clear sense of musical consistency throughout my listens of On the Culture Industry. The album is diverse in its playlist with more subtle, reserved segments helping to load up the dynamic gun so that upbeat, double bassy portions could become even more intense.

"Lacerate" and "Fodder for Defamation" are two examples of the latter and more intense compositions. Both begin with dodgy bass lines that define a pocket for the partially distorted guitar to play a similar, yet higher pitched, riff over. The songs progress into segments featuring stops/starts and double bass drum rolls. If these portions and transitions do not provoke some sort of interest or fervent head nodding, then this album is certainly not for you.

If this is the case then possibly you'd feel more comfortable emailing my mom so you could borrow a couple dusty Gordon Lightfoot LPs. Don't get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with appreciating a little of ole G.L. But then again, no one ever accused his music of rocking out.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger

» MEDIA DOWNLOADS

» GOT STICKERS?

If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.

» WORLDWIDE DOMINATION

LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!